Secretary Yu Zhengsheng,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is with pleasure and pride that I say a few words to mark the launch of the English edition of Zhu Rongji Meets the Press. We are honoured by the presence of Secretary Yu Zhengsheng. Mr Zhu Rongji has sent his greetings to Secretary Yu and Lord Patten. He also asked me to send his thanks to Lord Brittan, Mr Stephen Perry and other distinguished guests for attending this launch. I believe that our warmest congratulations should go to Oxford University Press and their Chinese partners for enabling this English version of Mr. Zhu's book.
Zhu Rongji Meets the Press is a collection of Mr Zhu Rongji's interviews with Chinese and foreign journalists. The book also includes his overseas speeches from 1991 to 2003 as Vice Premier, and then Premier of China. The Chinese edition, published in 2009, was an instant hit with readers. I very much hope the English edition will win similar popularity. I sincerely wish the book is popular as it is a powerful symbol of intelligent dialogue. This kind of exchange is a critical need between all people's of the world to better grasp the development of China. Readers of the book worldwide will better understand Mr Zhu and China both in the past and for the future.
For the past, this book provides much insight into the historical process of China's reform and opening-up. The decade from 1991 to 2003 was a crucial phase marked by advancing reforms and opening up. It was a time of growing links between China and the world. A key milestone was China's joining the WTO in 2001. That is just one example of advances China made between 1993 and 2003 that would be unimaginable without the outstanding contribution of Mr Zhu Rongji. His book is a window on China's political, economic, cultural, social and foreign policy development in this decade. It adds up to a key contribution for anyone seeking a serious understanding of the recent past in China.
Turning to the future, this book is a valuable guide to where China is going. How China has succeeded in becoming the leading exporter and second biggest economy is now a subject of growing interest in the West. People discuss and debate the future of China and what that means for the world. A study of Mr. Zhu's book will greatly benefit such discourse. Mr Zhu Rongji is a key member of the third generation of leadership in China. His thoughts, insights and actions have had a major influence on how political and economic thinking have evolved in China. This book is a must-read if people wish to grasp Chinese thoughts - for example:
· Applying scientific thinking on development.
· Adjusting our growth model.
· Economic restructuring.
· Our opening-up strategy.
· And China's path of peaceful development.